Handful of bait results in PB bream from 90-acre venue

by Freddie Sandford |
Published on

Lee McManus is no stranger to catching specimen fish of all species, but he was truly blown away when a recent trip led to the downfall of a new PB, in the shape of an 18lb 10oz bream.

Lee was aware of a low stock of very big bream in a 90-acre gravel pit in the Midlands, and not one to shy away from a challenge, he decided to start a campaign to see if he could locate some of these massive fish for himself.

“I was fishing a 90-acre Midlands pit where there’s a low stock of hard-to-catch fish, with last season proving particularly difficult after very few bream were caught," he told us.

“This water is filled with subsurface bars, and as I was fishing four rods, I spread them out, each one on a different spot. One was sent out to the back of a bar, where the water rises to 9ft before dropping off to a flat 11ft-deep area."

With very few bream present, the nature of the lakebed, and the size of the venue, Lee knew location and tactics would be a massive factor if he was to trip up one of the larger residents.

"I’ve found that big bream generally prefer these flatter areas, even though you will catch the odd one on top of a bar, so I positioned the rod in the slightly deeper water.

“My general approach is to feed a small amount and drop my rig precisely over the top, so I introduced half a handful of hemp, casters, corn, and pellets."


A handful of bait is all it requires at times to land the largest of fish.
A handful of bait is all it requires at times to land the largest of fish.

"It’s hardly any bait, but on waters with a small head of fish, you’re fishing for one bite at a time, so I see little point in piling in the feed."

It wasn't long before the tactics paid off, and Lee's hard work began to be rewarded, with a real red-letter session proving that you don't need massive amounts of bait to catch big fish.

"I had my first fish from the spot off the back of a bar, in the shape of a 12-pounder and a ‘fourteen’ soon after that."

"At this stage, it would have been easy to think that there’s a shoal of fish out there, and you need to feed more to keep them interested."

"You not only risk spooking them, but you also reduce the chance of one picking up your hookbait. The fish are already on the spot, so there’s no need to introduce loads of bait to keep them there."

“So out went another half-handful of bait, and the next fish was the 18lb 10oz PB! I repeated the process throughout the session, feeding that tiny amount of feed after each fish and continued catching."

Despite the size of the venue and how spread out Lee had his rods positioned, all the bites came to one rod, highlighting just how localised fish can be on a large venue, while also proving that an accurate, minimal baiting approach can often be the best method.

“If you can be precise with your rig placement and feeding, you’ll be amazed at how a small amount of bait can get you a bite,” he concluded.


Lee with his gnarly, old 18lb 10oz bream.
Lee with his gnarly, old 18lb 10oz bream.

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